Weâ€™re heading into the peak of summer just as I head into my last week of pregnancy! Iâ€™m ordering food (among other things...) left and right to prep for the little one's arrival. I guess this is what they call nesting â€” but I can't keep my lifesavers a secret! So time to pull back the curtain on Middleberg Nutritionâ€™s favorite quick eats, from frozen foods to meal delivery services, in NYC and beyond. Even if youâ€™re not in nesting mode, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen when it's so beautiful outside?
Best Frozen Goods Delivered To Your Door
- Smoothies: Daily Harvest makes single serve, organic, vegan smoothie kits. You just need to add 1 cup of whatever liquid you want. I have used these a ton â€” as much as I love concocting my own smoothies, the convenience of these ready-made smoothies really canâ€™t be beat when youâ€™re short on time!
- Wyse Organics: This brand-new service launched this year in the Hamptons. They use tons of local produce with a focus on seasonal dishes.
- Soups: The Splendid Spoonâ€™s soups are all vegan, gluten free, and seasonal. Never over-salted!
Ready To Eat Mealtime Essentials To Stock Up On
- Smoothies: LuliTonix (tons of leafy greens that actually taste good) and Heartbeet Juicery (which also has delish nut milk smoothies and cold-brew coffees!)
- Fish: When I want high quality, sustainable seafood but Iâ€™m not purchasing fresh, my go-to is Vital Choice. Iâ€™m a big fan of the wild salmon everything, from burgers to the canned salmon to filets. Also, one of the best seafood stores in New York, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., is on the cusp of delivering city-wide.
- Meat: For quick overnight delivery of top-quality meat, our friend Tricia Williams from Food Matters NYC recommends Dickson's Farmstand Meats in the Chelsea Market. Other great resources include Good Eggs (see below), Instacart, Whole Foods and your nearest farmers market.
Veggie burgers: Hilary's Eat Well makes the best veggie burger ever, hands down! Itâ€™s also free of all common allergens, so pretty much everyone can enjoy this burger.
- Grains: Lundbergâ€™s â€œheat & eatâ€ rice bowls and Suzie's Quinoa ready to eat packs are great, healthy sides or bases for meals. Just add protein and veggies.
- Frozen Fruit: Organic frozen brands like Cascadian Farms and Wild Harvest are perfect to keep around to ensure you always have fruit on hand. It is especially useful to make smoothies with the DIY smoothie kits.
Best Grocery Services
For when you canâ€™t go to the grocery store but they can come to you.
Best Prepared Foods Delivered in a Pinch
- Good Eggs: Delivers fresh, local food in San Francisco, L.A., New York, and New Orleans. You can order exactly what you want â€” no surprises or wasted produce.
- Rustic Roots: Organic eat, produce, fish, eggs, and more. All local, and available both in NYC and Long Island.
- Farmigo: This service is really community focused, connecting local farmers, bakers, and butchers with neighbors. Plus, producers make/harvest only whatâ€™s ordered to reduce waste.
- Instacart: Delivers groceries in an hour from favorite stores like Whole Foods, Fairway, and even Zabar's now.
- Amazon Fresh: This service delivers groceries, Amazon.com items (baby stuff!), and food from local shops and restaurants same-day and early in the morning. In the NYC metro area, you can use it free through September if youâ€™re a Prime member.
- Thrive Market has a huge selection of healthy, natural products at great prices (25-50% off retail).
Best Meal Delivery Services
For when you want your entire week of meals planned, prepped and delivered.
- Munchery: Chef-made meals delivered cold so you can heat them up whenever you want. Lots of kidsâ€™ options, too. I like that Muncheryâ€™s containers are recyclable and compostable, and that for every order placed they donate a meal to your local food bank.
- Postmates: At the office we rely on this to order from our favorite spots around the city. Youâ€™re no longer constrained by your neighborhood!
- Caviar: The creme de la creme of delivery apps and the cure to your cravings. Caviar delivers from some of the best restaurants in the entire city. Got a craving for some jerk chicken from Ms. Lily's? No problem. Dying for some Blue Ribbon Sushi? They've got you covered.
- Maple: This new delivery company is the brainchild of David Chang of Momofuku fame. While it's still in the testing phase and delivery is to a limited to a small area, the concept is restaurant-quality food at your door in 30 minutes.
- Food Matters NYC: This food is tippy-top quality. You get a weekly menu and can customize your meals for your own preferences, restrictions, etc. They do a great job of balancing nutrients.
- Sakara Life: Fresh, well-portioned organic meals. I love the convenience: You can choose among daily, weekly and a la carte options.
- Provenance Meals: A great organic option if youâ€™re gluten free. Itâ€™s all locally sourced whenever possible.
Making food ahead of time and freezing it is one of the best and cheapest ways to cut down on prep time and always have a healthy option on hand. Here are some essential reads, products, and recipes to do it right.
- Ice cube trays and muffin tins: Not just for ice and muffins! Use jumbo ice cube trays like this one.
- Reusable freezer bags by Neat-os. These baggies are BPA free, dishwasher friendly and come in various sides. Read here for a full review. Makes for a fantastic gift!
- Plastic freezer bags: Be sure to buy the kind with a space for writing whatâ€™s inside and when you cooked it. It is a great way to store the frozen pancake batter (see below)
Summer is supposed to be relaxing â€” but any parent whose kid is out of school for a few months will tell you itâ€™s actually MORE hectic than the rest of the year. Cooking can fall by the wayside when youâ€™re ferrying the kids around and taking trips (and the temps are soaring). But a little advanced planning, prepping, and freezing can ensure your kids get nutritious meals and you get some quiet time.
- Frozen veggies: Always keep a few bags of your kidsâ€™ favorite vegetables in the freezer, like broccoli, carrots, string beans, and edamame. If you have them in the house, theyâ€™re more likely to land on the kidsâ€™ plates.
- Grilled chicken strips: While homemade is always best, keep a stock of Applegate organic chicken strips for quick and easy dinners.
- Breaded chicken strips: If making from scratch is not an option, go for Bell & Evans natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free breaded chicken breast tenders.
- Homemade chicken tenders: If you can make a batch and freeze, try these grain-free (almond flour-based) chicken tenders that kids love.
- Homemade fish sticks: Packaged fish sticks are high in refined grains and other questionable ingredients. Thankfully, homemade is easier than you think!
- Falafel burgers: We love these chickpea patties made with clean ingredients.
- Turkey burgers: When lighting up the grill, toss on a few extra burgers that you can easily cool and freeze. These turkey-and-zucchini burgers are a foolproof way to get in those veggies.
- Mini ham-and-cheese quinoa cups: These little cups make breakfast much easier. And yes, you can freeze them!
- Oatmeal pancakes: Make a big batch of these oat-based pancakes and freeze the batter to ensure you always have a quick breakfast or snack for the kids.